Thou shall make Mess: Clapham church welcomes families to take part in creative worship


St James Church in Clapham celebrated harvest.


By Chidi Ogundu

Church is a place where Christians worship the Lord, sing songs of praises and do painting on t-shirts?

On this occasion, God could forgive the congregation of Saint James Church, Clapham, as they held their fifth Messy Church.

It is for all ages and involves craft activities for exploring the Bible, a short Bible story with worship followed by a huge sit-down meal together.

Messy Church was founded by Lucy Moore, who helped set up the first Messy Church at Saint Wilfred’s Cowplain, Portsmouth. Now there are Messy Churches across the UK and worldwide.

Jill Howard-Gunasekera, one of the organisers behind Saint James Messy Church, said: “Messy Church is a space for a family to come and share time together, make friends and hear about Jesus. We’d love Messy Church to grow.” 

Saint James hosted their first Messy Church with Joseph and the rainbow coat as the theme.

Due to its success, the church decided to run more Messy Church events such as Joshua and the wall of Jericho, Bible roads and Pentecost.

This time the theme was Harvest, with food related activities such as potato printing to represent the feeding of the 5,000 (Mark 6: vs 30-44), t-shirt printing using fruits and making food baskets out of bread buns.

Mother of two, Jennifer Blair, 43, from Camberwell said: “Messy Church is really enjoyable. The service was really good and related to Harvest. It makes you think about Harvest and people who do not have food.”

Kit Gunasekera, Priest-in-charge of Saint James, Clapham said: “It is really lovely to see people of all ages come together here to have so much fun, just like families should do.”

St James is hoping to hold more Messy Church events early next year. All are welcome to attend.

Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles